In the fall of 2011, I spent a lot of time with Seattle's Occupy constituency. Like, a lot of time. And during those months—when Occupy Seattle went from "a lot of dedicated people who wanted the attention of a city government who seemed to be largely ignoring their plight" to "a small group of very militant, very demanding transients"—I watched a movement that I really, really believed in begin to slip away as louder, more aggressive voices took over.
And I'm worried the same thing could happen with the 15 Now campaign for a higher minimum wage.
At a town hall meeting on March 5, I watched some very heartfelt, very reasonable people testify both for and against a higher minimum wage. I also watched business owners and employees alike propose rational methods for enacting the change—policy ideas that would guarantee a living wage and also help ease the increase in labor costs for employers.